Bulldogs end up winning battle at home plate

Brock Whitney was stellar all night, going 3-for-4 with an RBI double in BYU's 2-1 loss at Fresno State. (Photo by BYU Photo/Mark Philbrick)

FRESNO, Calif.—Home plate had a lot to do with the outcome Wednesday night in Fresno State’s 2-1 victory over BYU baseball.

Fresno State (15-7) was the beneficiary of a pair of solo homers, while runners were thrown out at home three times in the game. BYU’s Brennon Lund was thrown out at the plate to end the game in the ninth inning, similar to the outcome in the fifth inning.

Defensively, on the heels of a double play, the Cougars also snuffed out a Bulldog run as the first inning ended when leftfielder Eric Urry relayed to shortstop Hayden Nielsen who threw out Jordan Luplow at home as he tried to score off Trent Woodward’s two-out double.

Designated hitter Jacob Ward put FSU on the scoreboard with a solo homer in the fourth inning for a 1-0 Bulldog lead. Woodward broke a 1-1 tie with a one-out solo homer in the sixth.

Nielsen scored BYU’s only run in the fifth as he singled, advanced to third on Parker Starr’s single and scored on Brock Whitney’s two-out double to left field. Starr was thrown out on the play at home to end the inning.

“I'm proud of the way our guys came out and competed tonight,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said.  “A couple great plays by Fresno State was the difference in the game. Mike Springer gave us a quality start and a chance to win against a good team on the road.”

Springer pitched six quality innings in his second start of the season. Whitney went 3-for-4 on the night. Lund advance to third base in both the first and third innings, but was stranded and was called out at first prior to an appeal by Littlewood in the seventh. BYU had runners in scoring position in the first, third, fifth, seventh and eighth innings, but managed only one run.

The Cougars (7-15, 0-3 WCC) return to league play Thursday, 3 p.m. PDT, at San Francisco (9-9, 0-3 WCC) to start a three-game series.

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